Doctor. Ah! thou, too,
Sad Alighieri, like a waning moon
Setting in storm behind a grove of bays!
Balder. Yes, the great Florentine, who wove his web
And thrust it into hell, and drew it forth
Immortal, having burn’d all that could burn,
And leaving only what shall still be found
Untouch’d, nor with the small of fire upon it,
Under the final ashes of this world.
Doctor. Shakespeare and Milton!
Balder. Switzerland and home.
I ne’er see Milton, but I see the Alps,
As once, sole standing on a peak supreme,
To the extremest verge summit and gulf
I saw, height after depth, Alp beyond Alp,
O’er which the rising and the sinking soul
Sails into distance, heaving as a ship
O’er a great sea that sets to strands unseen.
And as the mounting and descending bark,
Borne on exulting by the under deep,
Gains of the wild wave something not the wave,
Catches a joy of going, and a will
Resistless, and upon the last lee foam
Leaps into air beyond it, so the soul
upon the Alpine ocean mountain-toss’d,
Incessant carried up to heaven, and plunged
To darkness, and still wet with drops of death
Held into light eternal, and again
Cast down, to be again uplift in vast
And infinite succession, cannot stay